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December 21, 2010 @ 1:55 pm
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2010 December Issue

If Bucs Want Sellouts They Must Enhance The Stadium Experience

WRITTEN_BY Scott Reynolds Scott Reynolds
The Bucs have no sellouts and plenty of empty seats during the 2010 season
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

Publisher
In his End Zone column, Scott Reynolds says it's time for the Buccaneers to think outside of the box when it comes to their game day experience at the stadium if they want sellouts and offer more value to season ticket holders and individual game ticket holders than just the game of football.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers obviously have an attendance problem. Dating back to the 2010 preseason, all of the team’s home games have been blacked out. Most of the games have been in excess of 15,000-20,000 empty seats shy of a sellout. The combination of the team’s decline in talent over the last couple of years coupled with an untimely and dramatic increase in ticket prices following the 2007 season, and the recession that has gripped the nation and the world has been the biggest reason that Raymond James Stadium has been less than full.

But even though the rebuilding Bucs have rebounded much quicker than most expected this season and have surprisingly put themselves into playoff contention, fans have not been motivated to spend the time and money to see Tampa Bay in person. The fact that the Bucs hosted the NFC-leading Atlanta Falcons in a huge game with playoff implications and only drew 53,955 fans to the game was surprising and had to disappoint the team.

It’s a safe bet that the Bucs’ season ticket base will grow next year with plenty of young players ascending to stardom, including quarterback Josh Freeman, running back LeGarrette Blount, wide receivers Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn and defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. But the question is how many new season ticket holders will there be – 2,000, 5,000 or 10,000?

Whatever it is, the Bucs games will not be sold out next year through season tickets alone. Tampa Bay will still need a strong walk-up crowd and help from opposing fans just to get a sell out or two in 2011 – provided there is a season and not a work stoppage as the NFL owners and NFL Players Association continue to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.

The problem with the extremely fickle, bandwagonesque Tampa Bay fan base is that over the past decade it has generally been split in two, based upon my observations. The first group of Bucs fans is the season ticket holders and the ones that would buy tickets to actually go to the games. Due to the economy, high ticket prices, the loss of legendary, marquee players and maybe some disdain for the Glazers sprinkled in, the size of this group has dwindled to just about 40,000.

The second group of Tampa Bay fans is everybody else who couldn’t afford or simply couldn’t get tickets to Bucs games at Raymond James Stadium, which has been sold out since 1998. Those fans have been conditioned to watch games on TV for over a decade. This segment of the fan base, which is much larger than those 65,000 that went to see the Bucs play in person, are used to sitting in air-conditioned homes in September when the heat index is 100 degrees, grabbing a much cheaper beer from the fridge rather than pay $9 for a beer at the stadium, and watching instant replays from televised broadcasts on 50-inch, high-definition flat screens.

Oh, and by the way, they avoid the $25 parking charge by keeping their car in the front drive way or the garage.

In order to achieve sellouts, the Bucs will have to market to the fans that were used to going to the games, but gave up their season tickets because they can’t afford it or they no longer see the value in going to the games. Given the economy, that will be tough.

And they will have to market to those fans that were conditioned to watching all 16 games each year at home on their high-definition TVs. That will be an even tougher task because these fans are used to not spending a lot of money on Bucs games they watch in their homes and they are surrounded by so many of their creature comforts, such as air conditioning and cheaper food and drinks.

In order to get as many fans in Raymond James Stadium as possible – whether it be through season ticket or individual games sales – the Buccaneers will have to think outside the box. Compared to other sports, the NFL is not exactly cutting edge when it comes to in-stadium entertainment, and that, coupled with the recession, has been a big reason why attendance has been down in some markets and there have been blackouts a plenty across the league this year.

Simply put, the Glazers are going to have to make going to a Bucs game at the stadium an even better event than fans can get at home with instant replays, expert analysis and instant injury updates from a televised broadcast.

And keep in mind that through various websites and torrents that blackout games are plenty accessible online. Thanks to technology, a simple hi-def cable can hook up a pirated web cast of the Bucs game to a big, 50-inch flat screen TV.

Outside of lowering ticket prices, here is a list of my suggestions that the Glazers should consider to make the in-stadium experience that fans pay between $70-$300 for even better than simply watching the game from home:

• Better stadium give-away items. Instead of lame player bobblehead dolls, Tampa Bay visors, and cheap, John McKay floppy hats – all with sponsors’ logos on them – the Bucs need to step up the premium items that they distribute to fans. Back when high-priced tickets cost $50 back in the 1990’s, the Bucs could get away with giving out a Tampa Bay poster that probably cost a dollar or two to produce along with the three-hour thrill of watching an NFL game.

It’s time for the Bucs to think a little more boldly. How about giving out a copy of the NFL Films 2010 Bucs highlight video to those who show up for the season opener. The retail value of those videos is typically around $15, so a lot of fans would be quite happy spending $70 for a ticket knowing that win or lose they will be walking away with something that has some real value, such as watching highlights of the Bucs’ 2010 breakout season.

Another giveaway item would be car flags, which used to be a regularly seen item around town during the Bucs’ heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now you rarely see them. Tampa Bay could help foster some visible, local Bucs pride by sending 50,000 – 65,000 car flags out in the area. And make the car flags feature a different design that is exclusive to that particular game’s give-away and not available in stores.

How about giving away $5 Subway gift cards or $10 iTunes gift cards at a game? In times of a recession, they would be more widely accepted by fans than a tired old bobblehead or a floppy hat.

The Bucs should explore a partnership with Busch Gardens, Sea World, Disney or Universal Orlando and include a free ticket to one of the theme parks for each Tampa Bay season ticket purchased. Pick the least attractive game on the schedule – perhaps a preseason game – and make the club seat or luxury suite holders show up to that game (and have to pay for parking, food and concessions) in order to claim their free theme park passes.

• Offer more chances to win stuff at the stadium. When Raymond James Stadium is at capacity the crowd is over 65,000. What if every game there was a myriad of give-aways and prizes just for showing up? The Bucs could randomly use the section, row and seat numbers to randomly give away scores of autographed jerseys and helmets at every game.

How about going to Raymond James Stadium knowing that you could get the chance to win a car on any given Sunday? As part of a Pewter Partnership, the Bucs could explore trading for vehicles that a local car dealer could give away. It could be the “lucky key that starts the car game” or even better yet have a field goal kicking contest or a passing skills contest determine who wins the vehicle.

The Bucs could set aside a luxury suite and give that away for the next home game to an upper level season ticket holder at the current week’s game. Or how about giving out a dozen VIP passes for tours of One Buc Place and watching an in-season practice at the team headquarters.

• Make the in-stadium experience more exciting. Outside of the occasional cheerleading performance or Ring of Honor ceremony, the Bucs’ halftime shows are lame. So are the pre-game video intros. Again, some outside the box thinking is desperately needed.

How about some exclusive pre-game show on the Jumbotron with in-game interviews on the sidelines that can only be seen and heard for those in the stadium? Why not give Raheem Morris the chance to address the 65,000 in attendance and get the crowd as fired up as he gets his team prior to the opening kickoff?

When the Bucs defense is on the field on third down and it needs to get loud, why not have a Tampa Bay sideline reporter give the microphone to linebacker Adam Hayward, who can get a little crazy, to get the Bucs fans extra pumped up?

When Ronde Barber picks off a pass and returns to the sideline, why not have him get on the microphone and tell the Bucs fans what he saw and how the play happened? Fans would eat that stuff up and fans at home watching on Fox wouldn’t get to feel the electricity of players and Morris firing up the crowd or getting some instantaneous X’s and O’s from the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay fans are notoriously late for kickoff because of the tailgating that goes on. The later the fans enter the stadium the more concession sales the Bucs are missing out on. Why not have some live pre-game interviews up on the Jumbotron as players are stretching?

Why not take the cameras into the locker room for Morris’ pre-game speech that could only be witnessed by those in attendance at the stadium? These are the exclusive elements that fans that watched the games from home wouldn’t get to experience.

The Bucs already do plenty of in-game interviews for the TV broadcasts during the preseason. Nix that practice and make them a regular staple of watching the games live at the stadium.

And do not put those interviews or in-stadium extras up on Buccaneers.com after the game. The Bucs and the NFL unfortunately do a brilliant job of cannibalizing their own live, stadium product with an overkill of highlights and replays on the team websites and NFL.com.

• Have a post-game or halftime concert for every home game. Who cares if Howie D. of the Backstreet Boys sings the National Anthem? Getting big names to sing the National Anthem is so 1990s. Why not get Ludacris, Rascal Flatts, Katy Perry, Stone Temple Pilots, Bret Michaels or Tears For Fears to do a 30-40-minute set after the game or a three-song set at halftime?

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning have both engaged in this practice to help with ticket sales. It’s time for the Bucs to get with the program and play catch-up. Besides, if there is a worthy artist coming on after the game that might prevent the thousands of lame Bucs fans from inexplicably leaving games early in the fourth quarter while the outcome of many games are still undecided.

Put the bigger artists on the games least likely to sell out to help boost attendance. To help entice a big-name artist without it costing a fortune, the Bucs should offer to host free merchandising for the event for the singer or band. That way Raymond James Stadium personnel could be in charge of selling the artist’s t-shirts, hats and CDs before, during and after the game to help pad their bottom line.

• Partner with local businesses to maximize the value of being a season ticket holder. Make season tickets worth something other than the privilege of just getting to see 10 games per year. That’s an arrogant attitude that most teams, including the Bucs, have towards their season ticket holders. What if a Bucs season ticket holder card was good for 10 percent off at dozens of restaurants and area merchants? All of a sudden the value of being a season ticket holder could be realized for more than just 10 days per year.

Tampa Bay season ticket holders could essentially earn back some of the money they have shelled out by saving 10 percent on oil changes at Jiffy Lube, on dinners at Outback Steak Houses, on groceries at Publix and on their Bright House cable bill, for example.

Want to sell more club seats and luxury suites? How about a smaller, exclusive FanFest-type of event where club seat season ticket holders and luxury suite owners get to come to Raymond James Stadium in the offseason for a special meet-and-greet and autograph event with Bucs players, coaches and general manager Mark Dominik. That way the higher-paying customers can either get double the autograph experience with FanFest or simply avoid the monumental crowds at FanFest with this exclusive event.

Yes, giving away cars, giving away better premium items or getting national acts to put on concerts costs a lot more money than the team is spending now on cheap give-aways, second-rate National Anthem acts and lame halftime performances. But what is the cost of having 20,000 empty seats and all of the missed revenue from parking, food, concessions and merchandise sales?

Having a winning team will temporarily get the bandwagon fans back to the stadium, but when the winning stops Raymond James Stadium will once again be 15,000-20,000 tickets shy of a sell out as they have been over the last two years. But if Bucs fans can justify spending over $1,000 on single tickets because the team has enhanced the in-game experience and offered more perks for season ticket holders Tampa Bay stands a much greater chance of keeping its season ticket base relatively high even in down years.

NFL teams like the Bucs need to get out of the 1990s mentality of thinking that just going to see live football games is good enough to justify the money and time commitment. In 2010, that’s not the case. Television has upped its broadcast experience with different camera angles, replays and in-depth sideline commentators like Tony Siragusa. It’s time for the Bucs to do the same thing with their stadium experience for their season ticket and individual game ticket holders – or get used to continuing to see entire sections of empty seats.
Last modified on Saturday, 25 December 2010 08:50

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Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds

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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Well, Scott those are ideas, but I am thinking a little different on this. Back in the old days in the 70's and 80's, tickets were reasonable enough so you could take your kids to the game, thus when they got older they became adult paying season ticket holders until the prices got so rediculous. This not Texas and there is not a base of oil millionaires here. Forget about all the free giveaway. Fans come to the game to watch the Bucs. Reduce your ticket prices, food prices, parking prices by 25% for two years and then see how many more fans you have at the game. The key is to keep your existing fan base and grow it in the near future and in the future out past 10 years. The days are over for the kind of large corporate support to purchase box seats. Bring back again what is left of the middle class fans; you ran out most of them with your large price hikes these past few years. It was silly that fans went to the games and couldn't purchase reasonable tickets, so they went home. Glazers are you nuts to let them leave the stadium? Wake up here and why don't you gather a fan base marketing team to tell you the way you can bring more fans back to the stadium. Listen to the fans, not a bunch of marketing people with suits on.
  • avatar

    i agree with horse. those gimmicks might help a little but for the everyday working family its just to expensive for a family outing. i wanted to take my son & a couple of nephews to a game. went to purchase the tix and found out it would cost about $400 just for tickets in the nose bleed seats at the very top of the stadium. & still have to pay for parking, food, & drinks.
  • avatar

    A few comments - This article should not be for insiders... everyone needs to see this... I hope Ownership has a subscription. Horse has a couple of good points (although may have an unnecessary edge to the commentary.) It is too expensive to the 'normal' fan to go to a game. There are soooo many ways to mitigate costs. I went to the detroit game this weekend... $42 for tickets (two) - went with cheapest available - never even went to the seats $25 for parking $60 for tailgating supplies $60 for in game adult beverages $280 for gas to get to the game (from SC) $250 for accommodations (long weekend) etc, etc, etc... and developing a fan base... they built from the ground up this (and last) year to grow a team, how is the same process NOT being used for the fan base? Look at the teams with consistent sellouts - it's a family business, grown through our youth and becomes a family tradition (Steelers come to mind repeatedly...) As far as the fan experience at the game... A lot of good ideas overall. As a fan at the stadium, you miss sooooo much of what you see on the broadcast - that has to be addressed somehow... through technology, etc. again - this article should be for public consumption.
  • avatar


    PR! Make this article a public article!!! Radio stations need to be able to speak about this and you need to let the general public read this article, not one PR Insider would be mad. MAKE IT A PUBLIC ARTICLE!
  • avatar


    You state “maybe some disdain for the Glazers” which I believe are a greater part. I speak from a season ticket holder since day one who has seriously considered giving up. I feel and many people I have talked to that the owners don’t care if we win or lose. You never see them on TV congratulating the players in the locker room on a victory or making public appearances promoting the team. Sure, they give some money to the foundation but that’s all they do. We used to have fan clubs in Sarasota during the Culverhouse days with speakers from the team, including the head coach on some occasions. Coaches then frequently spoke to civic clubs covered by the local press. I know the Glazers are not from this area but they have done little to show they are part of the community. They are invisible. A civic club that I belong to, with attendance of more than 250 at lunch, cannot even get their public affairs office to return phone calls to get a speaker. Many other suggestions are good, but one you missed is a special VIP gate for season ticket holders that moves fast just like the Rays have.
  • avatar

    " expert analysis" is that what they're calling it now?
  • avatar

    It cost too much to go to the games. $25 to park is way out of line. Concession prices have become outrageous. Make it affordable again and the fans will come. I believe the economy is the main reason for the decline in attendance.
  • avatar

    As a chef and Restaurant owner, I can say that the food is lacking at the stadium. The experience is so much better at Tropicana. Not to mention the beer selections at Tropicana are awesome. Unless you are in club, it really is dissapointing.
  • avatar


    I rarely eat the stadium food because it is like eating at a Circle K. How about a set up like the various food events? Call it "The Tastes of Victory". Each concession area could feature foods from a different local restaurant.Why not have Cuban sandwiches from Little Havana, wings from Wing House, burgers from Jake's or El Cap's, hot dogs from Mel's, cheese steaks from Delco's, grouper sandwiches from Frenchy's, pizza from ABC (anywhere but Domino's), BBQ from Alabama Johns and on and on. Where is your restaurant seat26?
  • avatar

    Please reduce the ads on the jumbotron and replace with multiple full size replays and other game centric stuff. Provide attending fans with the same or better technology that we get at home. Use views from that flying camera for replays and isolated views. Show more replays from other significant games. Use some of the stuff from Redzone to inform the fans and fantasy players. Give the stadium fans the same stuff they can get by staying home and keep their money instead of giving to the Bucs. Think about feeding the radio broadcast to the in stadium fans (minus commercials) like you do for the concession area.
  • avatar

    Think about feeding the radio broadcast to the in stadium fans (minus commercials) like you do for the concession area.
  • avatar


    ...waits for the usual crowd to criticize people who haven't purchased season tickets yet...
  • avatar


    There needs to be a unique viewing experience that can only be had by going to the games. The 1st thing that comes to mind is the Public Address Announcer. Is he forbidding to talk? As a kid the announcer used to talk more. How about announcing changes in the line-up due to injury or making an announcement when Barber has his milestone Sack or Interception. The announcer acts as if he is not allowed to talk! The in stadium experience needs to be enhanced and I believe that Technology can be used for that. Now all of the announcements back in the day were not so great... remember hhheeerrreee comes the vaccums! That was classic and a bit annoying. How about miking a player or two that can only be heard in the stadium? Perhaps you, Scott, could answer the question of what is allowed by the NFL in terms of the announcer and the miking of players. Lastly. BUC games are not currently a family affair. I'm not so sure they ever were. Pre-teen kids and their parents could easily be offended by the same ole guys who have way too much to drink and a lot of questionable language that could put a Father with his young daughter in an uncomfortable situation. I know... it's the NFL. There has to be more ways to attract a better attandance, i'm just not so sure it should be the pre-teens that will fill the void. Stadium prices are not practicle. Perhaps each game they could run a food special. It just takes some research and a committee that consists of BUCS front office, players, fans, and merchants! I'm just saying...
  • avatar

    I have to agree. Do something to bring back the fans. Unfortunately, I do believe the lack of a marketing effort by the Glazers is more than coincidental with the coming CBA. I believe the owners will try to use the current financial crisis and lack of ticket sales as the scapegoat on why they will give less to the players. If they wanted to fill the stadium, they could. But it is time for the NFL to review the technology of TV revenue and get rid of the blackouts. Some will never want to go to the stadium and spend 6 hours of their Sunday and $400. Use a pay per view method for games allowing people to spend $5-10 per viewing on residential and some higher amount for bars and businesses. For stadium ticket sales, do a first come best available sell off of tickets for $10-20/ ticket up to 3 hours before the game. It is a fixed cost to host a game at the stadium, any more people you get into it is gravy money. You make up the ticket loss money in concession/product marketing sales inside the stadium. To me, all these ideas are no brainers, unless of course, there is the ulterior motive of the CBA.
  • avatar

    Scott- Good article but I'd like to see a little more evidence/study on why this is occuring( beside the economy- all teams can use that) and what other teams (ie: Jags) did to increase their sales. Not just throwing out random ideas but hard evidence as to what other teams have done and what the results were. As a Bucs fan living in the Jax area, I can tell you the experience of going to a Bucs game is not that bad. It's actually much better than a Jags game...So much so that a friend of mine, who works for that organization (in gameday production, experience) told me that they (Jags) were at least a decade behind the rest of the league in this area. So is improving the gameday/stadium experience that critical to improving ticket sales? It could help but looking at the Jags over the last couple years may lead you (and us) to other ideas.
  • avatar


    Are you kidding me? This is the NFL and they have the attitude that they are supreme and if you want to see their product, ya gotta pay. They don't need to run promotions....if you won't come to the stadium, they'll move the team to a city that will pay. Don't fool yourself, the era of the Glazers is leaning back to the cheap ways of it's former owners.....Cheap personified!!!!!
  • avatar


    I've seen a lot of good ideas in the article and in the comments. Now why aren't the Glazers doing any of them? It's as if they just aren't trying at all.
  • avatar

    I certainly would not want to pat the Glazers on the back, but how many of us remember the Culverhouse sentence we had to endure? I would like to think as successful business people, the Glazers realize the windfall that comes with putting a winning product on the field. Admit it, if we were watching a team like the glory days of the late '90s and early 2000's we wouldnt care a whole lot about dead half times or cheerleader poster giveaways. Culverhouse was happy with mediocre profilts from being cheap. Winning and being dominate again will cure all the ills.
  • avatar


    At the start of the game there should be an actor or volunteer dressed in the opponents uniform walking the plank of the pirate ship or a great half-time show would be making the most obnoxious fan wearing the opponents colors walk the plank of the pirate ship into a giant dunk tank. They could show candidates on the jumbotron at the end of the first quarter for fans to chose by the loudness of the cheers. Then at the end of the game he is hung by his feet from the mast.
  • avatar

    This is a great subject, and one that everyone on this site should comment upon. Scott after having read your suggestions, I find them to be gimmicks and did not see anything that will make me come back to the Bucs games. The problem with me attending games again is very simple - there is not enough value to attending. I had season tickets for a couple of years, and did not renew them after Gruden left. I am sick of being peppered with advertising from the moment I get near the stadium. If I see that stupid "race" with the Coke products one more time I was going to spit up. I would expect any game now the fly-over jets will have a beer advertisment banners in tow. When is enough advertising enough? I came to watch a ball game, not to be beat to death with ads everywhere. The food at the stadium is ridiculously priced and of very bad quality. The couple times I have bought hot dogs I have been sorry. They are neither hot nor taste like any hot dogs I want to eat. Better dogs at 7 11 and a lot cheaper. I like buc gear as well as the next fan, but .... isn't $70 for a sweatshirt a bit much? I for one am sick of being the cash-cow for the NFL and the Bucs.
  • avatar


    The principal reason for coming to see a game is surely the product on the field and to experience the unique atmosphere of watching it live. Put a great winning team on the field, like we had in 2002, then people will come regardless of the price of the ticket, unless the prices are truly outrageous. Cheap gimmicks and tacky marketing stunts are just that. There is nothing more "fan-friendly" than a great winning team, kicking *censored*! I doubt that too many Patriots' fans over the last 10 years could give a crap about the half-time entertainment, or bobble-head dolls or free cheerleaders!! lol ... At the moment, on the back of terrific work by the front office and coaching staff, the team is showing great potential but it is by no means the finished article and may never be if the Glazers' are unwilling or unable to pony up the extra investment needed to bring to fruition another championship winning team. The current prices charged should reflect the level of performance. I agree with the earlier poster, cut the ticket prices (by as much as 50%), slash the ridiculous prices for parking and sub-standard concessions and rebuild a dedicated, match-going, middle-class, fan base as opposed to pandering to the corporate sales market. Then, when you have a championship caliber team again, you can legitimately increase your prices accordingly.
  • avatar

    Season Ticket holder. They'll never get me inside the stadium earlier than kickoff as long as I have free beers in the parking lot. I don't ever see the halftime shows cause that's when it's time to piss and have a cig. The answer to me is cheaper stuff. Tickets, parking, food, beer. Everything needs to be cheaper. They need fly overs at ALL the games too.
  • avatar


    The best time to hit the restroom is during TV timeouts. Just watch the guy with the big orange gloves.
  • avatar

    "The problem with the extremely fickle, bandwagonesque Tampa Bay fan base..." appreciate the assertiveness and journalistic boldness of these words- it's great to see the truth written at times. That's of course not to say that there aren't bandwagon fan bases for other teams, but Tampa Bay has seen its fair share.
  • avatar

    I wen't to the Detroit game last week. Seat was up in the top but really not a bad view-------except for the constant stream of people walking by------if I couldn't have moved to the other side of the aisle I would have left the game and wen't home------maybe the stadium could stop people from walking during plays? It was absolutely riduculous and provided a horrible experience-----until I was able to move to other side of aisle----any thoughts on this PR?
  • avatar


    mark05, it use to be back in the 70's and 80's, some fans remembered to sit down on the steps until the play was thru, then start back walking to your seats. Oh those were the days when a lot of people still had manners. Our society has almost become like the rest of the world.
  • avatar


    SR - a lot of those marketing ideas are gimmicky and still do not mitigate the high ticket prices. The NFL has outpriced the blue collar worker who wants to bring his family of four. Also, there really doesn't seem to be corporate backing of the major businesses in the area who usually purchase large blocks of tickets for their employees and as reward to their customers. I never hear the local radio stations giving away free tickets but always hear them giving away Lightning and Rays tickets.
  • avatar


    if the bucs want sellouts, they need to make thier ticket prices reasonable. I came to town for the Panther game. i bought tickets at the gate and they were 75.00 for nose bleed tickets. I couldn't get any higher up. Lower ticket prices and they will sell more tickets.
  • avatar


    Scott, you mentioned the "untimely and dramatic increase in ticket prices following the 2007 season, and the recession" that followed. That's in an area of the country that was hit, IS being hit particularly hard. IMO, THAT'S the problem. The Glazer's get plenty of television revenue, we all know that. It's inexcusable and wrong NOT to go back to ticket prices of 2007. THAT would make a huge difference. THAT would show fans the owners TRULY understand their dilemma. Not a damn rap or country group playing after the game. I'm their for football, most fans are. Just make it more affordable. Be reasonable and STILL make millions! And BTW, the Buccaneers could also make it easier for loyal season ticket holders to get better seats the next year as they are available. Show a priority towards those who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, been forced to pay even a SECOND seat deposit, over new sales and individual games ticket sales. Make it truly advantageous to own season tickets year after year after year. Oh well, we try but they don't listen or want to listen. In my case I keep going because I'm one of the 40,000 who will no matter what.
  • avatar

    While this article mentioned some good ideas on promotions and giveaways and getting more for the increased ticket prices, I think the stadium needs to take a look at the personel that is inside the stadium. I am from Kentucky and my son and I are big Bucs fans. We went to the Detroit game and had a really good time. It was nice to see the Bucs play in Raymond James in person. I bought my little guy one of those ship foam hats. After the game I took him up to the opposite endzone of the ship to get his picture wearing his hat with the ship in the background. As I am setting up to take his picture, there was usher yelling at us from one end of the seats to leave. What really was the topper, a lady police offer standing nearby, in the nastiest tone of voice told us we had to leave. I asked why and her reply, in a nastier voice while walking toward my son and I, "because I said so." I asked if I could just take his picture real quick that we were out of town, again being nasty, she replied, "you have to leave now." Didn't see what the harm was in taking a picture that would only take a few seconds. I understand they want to get people out of the stadium, but it was only 15 minutes after the game had ended. For two tickets at $130 a piece, I didn't think a picture was asking too much. What was a fun day with my son, besides the outcome of the game, it ended with him leaving in tears becuase he waited the whole game to get his picture in his new hat with the ship behind him. She ruined the whole experience for him and myself and a good day even though our Bucs lost.
  • avatar


    Scott, you are right on here. For those who say the ticket prices are too high, take a look at the missing seats. They are the upper level cheap seats that are not sold out. the lower level better priced seats are where all the people are at. And no, thats not because people buy cheap seats and move down, all you have to do is go to ticketmaster and look up available tickets. Youll see all the lower bowl seats gone, and only the upper cheap seats left over. Why? Because VALUE is the most important feature, and Scott is dead on with this article. The value needs to be higher, and when it is, fans will come. To spend 108 for a 3rd level seat as opposed to 150 for a lower level seat tells us people have money to go to the game, they just want a better value for their money, thus, what Scott is talking about here. More value. Great job scott. Niko-Bucstop.com
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    niko521, Sorry, but I don't get what you are saying. I don't mean to disagree in a negative way. All I know is that into today's economy raising value of a product doesn't work when there is little demand for it. I was in the private sector for many years and had various businesses and it was always about a good product and the supply and demand for it. This is a product that is not a necessity, this product is in direct competition with other entertainment products. The new entertainment products allow most people to not even leave their homes anymore. So far the path the owners marketing team is on will not work. Lower your prices and find the demand mark. It's exactly what the petroleum industry has done for years and the retail industry.
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    this article is garbage....all those people who want more game day excitement are just retarded....you go to the stadium to watch the GAME in person, to feel the energy, to smell the grass and tailgate with good friends and even strangers....we have a Pirate ship that shoots beeds out of it, we have awesome cheerleaders, guys that throw t shirts into the stands, a mascot that is funny, and we have The Crown Jewel of the NFL as a stadium......what more do you want? Opposing fans say they have the best time in our stadium, yet locals want more? LMAO this is an example of how pathetic you truly are!!!!!
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    Here are stadiums that I know for a fact that do ZERO gimmicks: Tennessee= 0 gimmicks Atlanta= 0 gimmicks New Orleans= 0 gimmicks San Fran= 0 gimmicks Denver= 0 gimmicks Pittsburgh= 0 Gimmicks San Diego= 0 gimmicks all it takes is for their team to have a game on sunday and the fans show up!!
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    Here's an idea, how about PEWTER REPORT start thinking 'outside the box' and gIve me my damn paper magazine that I payed 3 years for in advance? how about that for thinking outside the box!! Funny how Mr. Reynolds here has opinions on what the Bucs should do, yet his own employer is doing the opposite of what this column says!! LMAO PATHETIC
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    Chaos, I feel the same way as you about the paper. I payed years ahead too and I wouldn't have if I knew that just months later that part of the product was no longer going to be availalbe.
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    I use to be a season ticket holder even when I didn't live in the area. Unfortunately I couldn't keep my seats because I lived to far away to make it worth having them. I have had season tickets to other sports teams and they seem to do and give more to their season ticket holders. For example they gave me a nylon briefcase shoulder bag with their logo and sesaon ticket holder and year printed on it. A team replica jersey, sent me a blanket at christmas and had meet and greats with the team. When I was a Bucs season ticket holder it was just here are your tickets and information THANKS! hearing the rumor that the Glazers might sell MANU I hope will benefit the Bucs! The Bucs had a season ticket waiting list of over 100k and I got back on it after I gave my tickets up but did I ever receive a call. Starting to think that 100k was inflated!
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    Chaos, I thought that I got online access and the paper in the mail too but I guess not what the hell is going on there MR. REYNOLDS! I WANT MY PAPER COPY TOO!
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    i agree with horse lower prices will never grow fan base without kids going but then again maybe not such a good place for kids.
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    All Live Entertainment is way over priced these days. I let didn't renew my Bucs tickets after my 10yrs was up after '07. They went from $49 in '98 to $85 in '07. I quit going to rock concerts when they went over $50 and I hardly ever go to the movies because I refuse to pay $8-10 for something I can rent on DVD for $1 6months later. The Sports, Music, and Movie Entertainment industries need to follow the rules of Supply and Demand and lower their ridiculous prices!
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    I'm a season ticket holder in the west club. I think that the video boards are out dated and need to be upgraded to HD next year like a couple other stadiums have gone to. Um how about wiping off the seats in club when there wet when it hasn't rained since 11am and its now 1pm. Never any replays on a challenge like other stadiums. give aways suck last game of the year which was great but a poster really.
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    Tickets cost too much. The Glazer's held the Bucs fan hostage for several years, and raised ticket prices. The Stock Mrket as come down. Real Estate has come down. Bucs Ticket Prices need to come down.
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    Well thought out article, SR. It looks as though a second career is waiting for you in the marketing department. I do take exeption to the "bandwagon" label. Remember Clinton's response to Bush when he was running for President? "It's the economy, stupid". I am not saying this as a message to you, but merely to the situation. The tickets are way too expensive in this economic environment.
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    It is the ECONOMY, ECONOMY, ECONOMY!!!!!!!!! Add to that the ticket prices, for every sport, have gone up for a decade while people's salaries have been stagnant (and even worse the last 2-3 years) and the REAL unemployment numbers are somewhere between 13-15% as a nation and near 17% for Tampa. The owners are losing generations of fans by making it so a father can't afford to take his son to a game unless they are willing to spend alot of money. Not worth it. Plus, people are at home now watching on big HDTV's, I know I don't ever plan to go back except for a game or 2 per year. No way do I ever buy season tcikets again.
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    Guys in this town just don't get it - it's the money stupid!!!!! Been a season ticket holder on and off for years. Go to games when I can. Economy in this area sucks. Money is tight for everyone, including corporations. Just look at how many suites are empty! The NFL keep increasing costs - can't get NFL Network without a subscription, ticket prices keep going up, concessions are ridiculous. Everyone is taking a haircut on salaries - except players and sport franchises. Screw 'em!
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    Well all you so call fans better take a hard look at the stadium sistutation. I know that everybody blames the owners. Well don't everyone remember when they were so close to leaving town. If I lived back in Tampa when I was a youngster. I supported the plans to bring just the NFL to Tampa Bay Area, and all the years of 0-26 and 2-26 then the 1yr of the playoffs,etc. The cost of the tickets is nothing compare to the bigger markets. Tamp swallow your pride sell out the stadium. If I was down there I would do my support. I will make at least one game this year 1600 miles from there. GO BUCS
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    Scott, these are the best ideas I have heard. Great piece. One other idea is make the upper seats really cheap to encourge families to attend, nose bleed corner say around $30 and have a family of four price at $100. Hhave a walkup price if seats do not sell out. All the ideas are good but greed and money steps on a lot of good ideas. Keep up good Bucs news and opinions.
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